Crathes Half Marathon – Course Record and FINAL RACE AS A MOORE!

I was super excited for this one!

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It was the final race as a single woman, and the last one you’ll see on the entry sheet as Moore. There was zero pressure because I don’t consider myself a true runner (BUT I secretly put a little bit on because a) I wanted a headline saying we were King and Queen of Crathes Castle, much like he and Fiona got in last year’s race!, and b) there were dolla dollas up for grabs and we are VERY poor right now!) and the last goal of my racing season was at the previous week’s Scottish Standard Tri Champs – which I won yippeeee!

The weekend was actually all about wedding, honeymoon and hen stuff ie CLEEEEAAAN the house for people staying, start packing for Bali because we wont have time nearer the big time (and we leave the following day!) and make sure we have everything sorted for the 30th September. BUT we love to do some form of activity every day so a local race fit in perfectly!

We woke up naturally around 7am (I say naturally, but Chewy tends to sit on our face at that time purring like a helicopter), grabbed coffee and started blitzing the place. Around 9am, we had our usual breakfast and another coffee, then at 11am we headed to Crathes.

We parked at the non-visitor side of the estate, on a country road near the race route. We jogged the 1km to registration (we were one of the last people to register – we knew there wasn’t much shelter and it was POURING!) and did a few strides, then changed into race gear.

Luckily, we only had to wait about 5 minutes until the race, so no time to get nervous (although myself AND Fraser got a bit antsy when we noticed Kyle still wasn’t at the front of the starters with the 2 minute to go call) and everyone seemed to be laughing at just how bad the rain was!

When the gun went off, Kyle was asking why I was still with him one minute in.

“Oh yeah, oops. I’ll say bye now. See you soon – have fun!”

…and then I backed off. Within the first kilometre (when we passed our car) I found myself in a group of maybe 5. There was a headwind so I tucked behind some tall guy from Dubai.

On the downhill I took the lead, but then I was left there until about 5km. I turned around to try and get some help in this constant headwind but no one overtook, so I then just chose to run my own race.

At the 1st significant hill, a couple guys pulled away. I reeled one back in but the other went off. Then I noticed 2 guys had fell off the back, so I was running in a group of 3.

We hit the 1st trail section which was SUPER MUDDY!!!!! My trainers got soaked immediately but I tried as best I could to avoid major puddles. When my watched flashed the 1st mile in that trail as a 6.11 I was a bit concerned I was trying too hard to avoid mud and that might catch up with me. It was a flat mile but so technical and slippy that I should have been about 10seconds slower.

The trail lasted about 2km and hitting solid road again was amazing! There were a few spectators and dog walkers out but I wasn’t expected any given the weather, so was sure to wave at them to say thanks for coming out!

I hit 10km in about 38.30 – 30 seconds faster than my time in the Great Aberdeen Run…oops! That’s an oops to the GAR by the way, because at this point I still felt pretty good!

A couple of miles later, the rain was just turning to spray and the sun was starting to come out, so that cheered me up and kept me on pace.

Then there was a pretty big hill where those 2 guys I was with managed to get a gap on me. Grrr. I tried (and managed) to catch up, but then there was a HUGE downhill where my little legs couldn’t match their long ones and 1 dude got away and finished about a minute ahead of me.

Onto the second trail I began to lag. I think pushing it on that downhill to try and not get dropped, along with that speedy trail mile earlier, made me a bit tired. I was lagging and could have used a gel (I decided against one that morning just because it was a cool day and didn’t think I’d need one…wrong again). I was dropped by the 2nd dude and so was in no man’s land for those final 5kms.

In my head I was thinking what the worst possible pace I could go before finishing would be. Then I realised even if I did 7 minute miles for the next 3 miles I would still get a sub1.25.

So then my mindset changed after my 11th mile was a 6.34. Hmm I could get a decent PB here (I know I should be a bit faster but I haven’t done a proper half in years and my last half was hilly Fraserburgh last year!). Ideally on a course with no trails, or mud, or hills, or wind, and with specific training and a taper, I feel I should be able to break 80 quite comfortably.

Then I realised mile 12 was up a never ending hill, where you could see the full mile in front of you. Pretty demoralising! I managed that one in 6.42 but it felt a lot worse than that. When that mile beeped, I knew the last km w05as downhill (again, back to where I parked!) so a couple more calculations later I though Fiona’s record from last year was on! I just had to run a 4minute km down to the finish.

I saw Kyle with 800m to go. He was on his cool down and did here 1st lady wasn’t too far away.

“What the hell are you doing here? That course was mental!”

“Sorry, can’t talk – think I might break Fi’s record”

“Sprint then!!”

“This is me sprinting!”

…and off I waddled to cross the line in 1.22.27 and a new CR.

Kyle was 6 minutes faster than anyone else, going 1.11 – just a couple seconds shy of Robbie’s record (if only he’d known what it was !) – so he was elated too! It gave him the confidence he needed for the Loch Ness marathon on Sunday!

What was best was at presentation when Fraser announced that the race of the day was not Kyle’s, but mine! *cue evil laugh here!*

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He then announced that it was an even more significant race for us given we were getting married 2 weeks later! The entire crowd just went “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwh” so we laughed a lot at that!

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What made it even better was that Carolyn was there and SMASHED her PB!! She started running in January (only 3kms) and managed a 2.06 on THAT course! She is such an inspiration to working mothers out there who let exercise take a back seat for a while.

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Afterwards, Mum and Keith came over to help us sort the house out (any excuse for an Alford Tandoori 😉 !) and we had a lovely Sunday catching up on life and wedding admin!

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…Then I was headed to Paris the following day for meetings so no rest for the wicked! There were far more croissants and wine consumed so here’s hoping the dress fits ONE WEEK TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

As if I wasn’t busy enough… The Dam and Landan!

…I got the opportunity to head to Amsterdam to visit one of Subsea 7’s pipelay vessels during one of its scheduled dry docks.

When I was a graduate I actually went offshore on a diving vessel, but it was puny in comparison to the Seven Oceans!

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Training took a back seat but I managed a 10.30pm treadmill run after a day of touring the boat, and a selfie with my colleague/foodie expert Andy to tease Kyle! at the Canal Lover’s Cruise…!

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(how romantic)

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The day after I got back, it was time to head to London to visit Kyle’s cousin, give the flower girl Queen her dress to try on and watch the Athletics! I.e. Bolt’s last ever race in the 4×100 relay (I think we know how that went….!) and Mo’s last (official) track race (I believe he is doing a couple more local races).

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I wish Bolt got up “Cool Runnings” style and hobbled to the finish, getting the relay the slowest time in history but then again I have never had hamstring cramp and I imagine it is pretty painful!

And what are the odds/how cool is it that we ended up sitting directly in front of one of Kyle’s Scottish team managers and his wife?! Malcolm is super knowledgeable on the sport so was interesting to hear his insights!

The weather was perfect and we managed to run in the morning, have a lovely brunch both days, shopping, then prosecco on the Thames until we headed to the stadium…my idea of heaven!!

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(cousin Vicky)

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(my fiance is so macho)

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(brunch with the gang!)

 

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(we act like a couple sometimes!)

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(“you kiss like you’re related!”)

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(the perfect way to end a run)

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(they NEED to have these sippy cups for grown ups…no-spill wine!)

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(cheers, Belle!)

 

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(And to finish…the “Horniman”…sorry, Mum)

Holkham Half this weekend

Wow twice in one week…this has been unheard of recently!

 Just a quick note to thank everyone on behalf of K and I for your kind comments and support recently on our way to world domination!

The sporting community really is phenomenal and second to none!

So onto the next race: the Outlaw Holkham Half in 2 days’ time!

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It will be my first ever half iron distance (1.9km swim, 90km bike, followed by a half marathon) as Kyle ended up doing the only one I’ve entered on 3 weeks’ notice, after I was hit! My A goal is to beat his time from that race 😉 (although he is one of those people that can do everything and finished in 4.42 with a 1.15 run split!).

Training has gone really well. I am running faster than ever before and my cycling is continuing to improve. Unfortunately, I had a crash at the Stonehaven Beer Festival Sportive, on the 1st bend on the descent on Cairn O’Mount (if you have been there, you’ll know that wouldn’t have been pretty!). Although nothing was broken, I have had shoulder issues since, but I am still hoping to put in a solid performance in the elite field of the race!

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(speedhub gear is clearly amazing since there were no tears!)

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(The beer was a great painkiller…at the time! We managed to get in the local paper with this shot!)

For those looking to track me, I am lucky number 8(is that a thing?!) and my race kicks off at 6.27AM (again, is that a thing?!?!?!).

 

8 days to go…!

Hi everyone! Kyle here 🙂

Thought I’d take over the fiancée(!)’s blog today to tell you about my preparations for my 1st race as a Team GB Athlete at the World Ultra Trail Championships in one week’s(!!!) time, held in Tuscany in Italy.

Deb told you about the bunion that my coach thought may have been gout, that came on very quickly at the beginning of the year on our skiing holiday. Well, I went up to see my coach a couple of weekends ago (he is an amazing GP) and he said that because it is most definitely bone growth (sexy), as long as it isn’t affecting me or getting worse, I should be fine.

Well, it is actually getting worse, so I’m going to have to buy wider shoes for the race, as well as looking into options afterwards. It’s not affecting training too much (I still have the Inov8s I made a hole in!), but after hard sessions it gets pretty tender.

Speaking of sessions, I have done a few long runs since London. My best one was around Clashindarroch, where I did 31 miles in the hills up Tap O Noth, and even managed a cheeky 2.58 split at the marathon mark in the pouring rain! It was a good confidence booster as I didn’t hit any wall, and it just felt like a fun – albeit lonely (no one wants to join me for these…wonder why…) – weekend long run.

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(Tap O Noth)

The last week or so, with the hotter weather we’ve been having, I’ve loved trying to replicate the race conditions. The race is going to be around 25C and pretty humid, so I did a hard session at Glen Tanar at the weekend in roughly that temperature, and have been consistently doing my sauna sessions (30minutes straight after a run, a couple of times per week) to hopefully adapt to the climate.

That Glen Tanar run by the way was awesome – James Espie (international hill runner who beat me at Snowdon) joined me for some morale (with Debbie lagging behind for her tempo 😉 ) and it was great to have someone pushing me for my 10miles worth of effort. This was followed very quickly with a trip to Coop, a picnic in the river, and a swim!

He also joined me the following day for a longer run around Lochnagar (he is great if you ever want some stunning running routes by the way, but not if you want to beat your running partner up any hill….he is a technical genius!). Deb cycled to Ballater and met us for post-training ice cream at the new ice cream parlour. Highly recommended!

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I have now officially started tapering, so will only do a couple more sessions emulating the race conditions ie tempos or intervals on undulating trails opposed to my usual beach front/track choice. I’ll cut it down to one run a day, and probably won’t go much higher than 10 miles from now until the big day!

My kit has arrived which has made me ridiculously excited (I may have told the office this is the best day I’ve had in years, when they politely told me I got engaged in December), but I am nervous at the same time in that I am finding myself checking the weather forecast a billion times per day!

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Race kicks off on the morning of the 10th June…I shall be taking pics of the opening ceremony, digs, selfies in my kit, and post race (hopefully) celebrations so watch this space! Send good vibes my way, please 🙂

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My trip to Speedhub!

So last weekend I ok ok Kyle came too to share the driving drove all the way to Lutterworth to visit my triathlon team, Speedhub. I actually couldn’t WAIT to meet them and pick up my amazing kit, and get a fancy retul bike fit while I was there!

[For those who don’t know much about Retul, it’s basically where you get hooked up to these wires in order to get your optimum cycling position. I am obviously not an expert, but looking at the vast detail it goes into, I couldn’t BELIEVE I hadn’t done this already! There is a lot of evidence that proves it has a MASSIVE advantage in your bike split (if Team Sky and British Cycling utilise it, who am I to argue otherwise), which equates to essentially “free speed” with exactly the same fitness and effort, so it is a no brainer]

To find out more information click here!

We headed down Saturday morning and stopped at a couple of places in Edinburgh first of all (we decided to buy an entire camping set the same trip we’d be taking home a bunch of triathlon kit and a bike – rookie error, but glad we replaced the 1 Series with a Volvo in January!), then stopped in the borders for Kyle to partake in the Inter counties hill champs (this was an “oh let’s do this as we’re going down the road anyway, while training for a 50km World Champs race next month, in the middle of a billion mile week and do rubbish”-sorta race) for Scotland North (he was 26th).

We finally reached Lutterworth just in time for dinner! Next door to our hotel there was a “2 steaks and a bottle of wine for twenty quid” deal, so why would we go anywhere else 😉 it was actually lovely, but we were VERY full after starting with a huge bowl of nachos and a couple of local ales! Luckily you are spared of the pics since our phones had died!

I had every intention of setting my alarm for 6am to get a run in before my fitting at 7.30am, but alas the driving REALLY took it out of me! I opted for a rest day and showed up to the fitting refreshed!

Tim – Speedhub owner and the most attentive fitter I could ever imagine! Oh, and superstar triathlete himself (I say this in case he is reading…!) – greeted me with open arms and a coffee, and then we he got to work on my INCREDIBLE new Felt IA2 TT bike!

What I learned was just how detailed his fittings are: I did a bunch of flexibility tests in my shoulders and hamstrings, along with testing my core strength – and then I was made to do push ups on the massage table but pretty sure they were winding me up! They explained that in order to be in an optimal position, my core must be strong enough to engage for a long period of time and my shoulders must be able to take the strain. It made perfect sense!

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Craig (fellow team member and phenomenal Ironman racer!), or Twigg, came by too to say hello and help build the bike – I was bombarding them both for tips the whole day…I hope their ears have stopped ringing!

Once on the bike, I did a couple of efforts and some “easy Sunday long ride” pedaling, and was assessed via the LEDs. Luckily, most of the dozens of results were green BUT we found out my left leg is shorter than my right, so I had to get my seat lowered! I was also apprehensive about trying the Cobb saddle, as it looked to me like an Adamo Noodles’ gave me (which I know a lot of people swear by, but it hurt my fairy too much), but it was like a throne! So so comfortable!

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After the position was confirmed, a few “extras” were done on the bike (bars brought closer together for more aerodynamic benefit) and then I was good to go!

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I then went through all my new Speedhub kit, including Zoot wetsuit and trainers, POC helmets, and met the team masseuse, Mandy, at All Sports Massage, and another teammate Caitlin who has just qualified for European Juniors in Austria – way to go Caitlin!!

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I hope I’m now not just an athlete with all the gear and no idea – I have a lot of work to do to keep up with this lot! But I am FINALLY hitting training goals, so now it’s just a case of proving this in races!

Can’t wait to see the team again, but firstly I cannot WAIT to race in my new kit!!

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London Mara, and 2 weddings in 2 days in 2 countries!

Well I knew April and May were going to be mental months but holy moly it was brutal busy!

This will mainly be a photo dump post as there is too much to write I’d be here all night!

I think the last time we spoke I was just heading to London to watch Metro DOMINATE!

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(about to board our plane to visit cuz!)

Major kudos to Fiona, Hazel and Jennifer who WON the BRITISH team title!! I believe (?) they were the only team where all three broke, sorry smashed, 3 hours, which is a HUGE achievement!! It made me so desperate to do a marathon again!

Well, after Haworth, Kyle kinda kid himself on that he was good for a PB in London – he needed recovery time after qualifying for worlds, which didn’t give him enough time to get marathon prepped. He hit 14 miles and died a little, so instead took in the crowds and just had fun with the rest of the run! When we saw him at Embankment, I was worried he was going to be in a hole but he was just jogging and joking around with the crowds…and he STILL went sub 2.30 – he is mental!!

The day before the marathon, we had to go to the expo to pic up his bib, so I looked for the nearest parkrun so that I could get a run in! Off to Beckton we went (the friendliest one I have ever done!). It was mainly on grass so I was happy with an 18.34 and course record that day! I didn’t have time for a warmup as we got lost coming off the train, so I got a bit carried away in the first mile and died, but enjoyed posing for the camera as usual!

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Oo oo AND at the expo, one of the stands was a challenge to run 400m at the marathon world record pace, to win a baseball cap! Well, I totes don’t turn down that sort of opportunity, so off I went on the best treadmill EVER and won my baseball cap! Get me to do that another 103 times or whatever it is, however, is another story!

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No pics of Kyle’s race (just this 1st one of him of him pretty soon afterwards), but plenty afterwards at Covent Garden with his cuz!

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It was an amazing weekend, but unfortunately I caught a virus afterwards and was floored for a solid week! I couldn’t get out of bed and everything was an effort, so I was so annoyed as I was actually getting somewhere with training again, swimming in particular when breaking 5minutes multiple times in a 400m set one evening before London….oh well back to the drawing board I went!

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(when boredom/illness strikes…put on a face mask)

The following week, we had TWO weddings in TWO consecutive days in TWO different countries!! Kyle’s uni friend Steven was getting married to his now husband Stuart at a film theatre – and afterwards a brewery – on the Saturday, then we flew to Ireland the following day for my uni friend Ashley’s dream wedding near Belfast! The stress and lack of sleep was TOTALLY worth it though!! Both were unbelievable in their own way and we are so thankful you let us share your day with you!

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(wedding 1)

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(weirdly, the only pic I found of wedding 2…the donkey isn’t the bride, we just escaped for fresh air and explored the estate!)

Then we were on to Quigley’s Point to visit my Dad’s new house and give him his wedding invite in person. We got a tour around where he lived and it is such a stunning place!! We will definitely have to find some races out there, Kylie Boy!

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And fast forward to now, where I am in Day 4 of my new job! The work looks exciting and challenging, and the people are all really friendly, however, trying to find new lunchtime routes has been a struggle (why isn’t WestHILL flat?!) 😉

April is a super busy month!

Wow the last few weeks and weeks to come have been manic!

1st of all, I have handed in my notice at work. The people are great and I will hate not being able to see them for the  majority of my day, but hopefully my new position will bring fun new and exciting challenges!

On the injury front, that niggle is still there. BUT I am able to run on it (nothing too intense yet), but my first run was the BEST feeling…

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(The sun was shining and I managed 20mins of endorphin-fuelled happiness!)

Not to get too excited too soon, I have also been dragging K out for walks with me, to make the most of the good weather we were having (of course I had to bribe him with afternoon tea first…think “why would i walk when I can run, babes?!” Typical!)

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(our first trip to Pittodrie House…may have to start finishing our Bennachie runs here!)

We have had lots of visitors!

Phil (my Sweden buddy!) wanted to see us before he headed off to Japan and the Phillipines for some travelling in between jobs (he has an amazing job so can afford to do these things!). Unfortunately, it was one MENTAL trip! His train was delayed so he missed a connection, but on our way to pick him up, I drove over a rock and slashed our tyre!

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We were about 5miles from the station so he said he’d put on his trainers and head over (he claimed he still did this but in actual fact a car passed him and offered him a lift! Country living, eh?!). Meanwhile, a bus passed us and asked if we needed help. We’d already called roadside assistance (that said they would be around THREE HOURS!!), so we thought “hmmm…..PUB!!!!”.

The bus driver (Legendary Lewis) kindly dropped us off at a VERY local pub, and also said he could pick us up after he finished his last bus drop off, because he lived in Alford anyway. We had around an hour to drown our sorrows, and we are SO fortunate he dropped us off at our house because our car wasn’t dropped off until 11pm… We called them at 6.30pm! Lewis = saviour.

(FINALLY home! And Chewy then wanted a selfie with Phil.)

Speaking of Chewy, she has found her special spot and won’t leave me alone!

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(yes I am aware of the innuendos from this)

And she ALWAYS wants to drink what I’m drinking…!

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(interesting fact: Kyle gave me that mug a few years ago for my bday. It says “To Debbie, love Kyle & Debbie x” #ohbabez…)

Oh and Phil sent me this yesterday from his travels so far:

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(only in Japan!)

We also had Amber (flowergirl) and Drew (page boy) round to stay, only a couple of nights after Belle (flowergirl #2) and Charlie (page boy #2) came to stay!

(Top: “Daddy do we HAVE to go to bed?”. Bottom: “let’s pretend we are already sleeping so we can stay here”)

When we have had some spare time, we have been wedding planning! To FORCE us to do it ie not procrastinating in the house by cleaning/hot-tubbing/Netflixing, we have found the Alford Bistro to be very convenient (oh em gee their cakes…). We have now booked our honeymoon!

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(spot where we’re going…)

And now as I type this Matty the Tattie (Kyle’s best man) is up staying with us. When I asked them what they were up to while I was at work, I was sent this:

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(why didn’t I take the day off work?! excuse the “dinosaur excrement” as K keeps telling people…we are in the process of making a raised vegetable patch)

Ok and lastly (if you have lasted this long!), I am pleased to announce I have registered for my first half ironman as a pro/elite/superstar/bigtime (only kidding…when you see me in transition 2 you’ll know this isn’t the case ;)…) Actually, it’s my first half ironman full stop, since Kyle took my place in Ireland! It will be the Holkham Half on 2nd July! Now I need to get some serious training in!

Next up: London marathon!!! Kyle is still racing but it’s all about the World Champs a few weeks later! Cannot wait to go down and play cheerleader with Tom to support our other halves!! Fiona is going to smash it!! And for all others racing ENJOY and EMBRACE the taper and I look forward to cheering on you on the day!! You got this!!

A little lost

Ok ok so I know I promised Kyle’s Loch Ness marathon recap a LONG time ago, but for those of you who know the Babez, he isn’t the best at timekeeping, reading, writing, prioritising, despite being chased up *hint hint, Kylie!*.

Meanwhile. he sends his apologies but to make it up to you I will tell you that news that I had mentioned previously.

I have not been selected as a member of the Scottish Squad this year.

Yep. You read that right. Your Scottish Champ is not on the Scottish team. Interestingly, no female Scottish champion from this year’s races (there is also the Aquathlon, Sprint, Duathlon, etc) is on the squad. Weird, huh?

I have been told a few reasons, but I have heard quite a few things, from a lack of swim potential, lack of cycling skills, lack of run potential, lack of transition skills, lack of decision making skills (isn’t that the entire triathlon race??). Way to kick me when I’m down.

Lack of swim potential: I used to be on their national team. I competed at international level and was aiming for Commonwealth Games 2006

Lack of cycling skills: I had a horrible crash just last year, that I am still improving from. Since then, I have come on leaps and bounds and am constantly improving

Lack of run potential: I haven’t been running for long, and I have never done track, but I have broken 3 hours in a marathon and won a few local races. Surely more work on speed would make me a lot quicker.

Lack of transition skills: Fair enough. But had I known that was a factor, I would have practiced a helluva lot more, and entered more races to practise under pressure

Lack of decision making skills: At the British champs, I had a horrendous swim. However, watching ITU races, those that have a weaker swim but are awesome cyclists work together and usually catch at least the chase pack. There weren’t strong cyclists in the 2nd chase pack and I did 99% of the work myself, therefore losing time on the chase pack and having to run past as many people as possible to even get a top 20.

However, at the ITU qualifier, I didn’t want anyone drafting me on the bike saving themselves for the run, so I would smash the swim and lead the whole thing. Little did I know, the decision for the squads was made pretty much on Liverpool alone (these were the only draft legal races I did), and so doing the race on my own meant that I had had zero draft racing practice beforehand. So the British was my first drafting race, and surely I can only get better with practice?

Anyway, I made myself very clear to Triathlon Scotland in a novel letter to them, and the CEO came up to meet with me. The whole thing is a joke and instead of encouraging me to keep working on my weaknesses, but that the sporting body was still behind me, I now feel like a massive loser who would have had a lot more confidence had I not been on any team in the first place. The London Olympics theme was “inspiring a generation” but leaving athletes feeling useless, disheartened, and telling them they lack potential (despite what I have achieved so far), is not a team I wish to be a part of.

To be honest, I’m not missing out on too much. Any training holidays I can do with KB (any swimmers out there who want to keep me company for that element?), meaning he wont be left with more holidays at the end of the year than me 😉 , and I can have proper training weekends, without the waiting about and travel time when I was going down to Stirling a lot. Not to mention the petrol money I’ll save 🙂

I’m sorry if this sounds like I am too big for my boots, but this whole drama has left me angry that I got involved in it at all. Yes, it would be amazing to still qualify for the Commonwealth Games 2018, but at least now I can do some of the races I wouldn’t have been allowed to do on the program, and have a bit more fun with it.

My team up here is amazing: for swimming, I have COAST that are ridiculously fast (faster than when I could properly swim) and keep me young (the majority are teenagers), coach Gregor (who I shared a lane with for 26 hours per week when we were swimmers, so knows exactly what works for me) and Patrick Miley (my friend Hannah‘s dad/coach combo) has just joined as performance coach to being a new eye to it. For cycling, I enjoyed going out with Torphins Typhoons over summer (they have a couple national champs up their sleeves to give me guidance!) and like to annoy them with my questions, so I shall be keeping that up. And for running, well I can’t seem to get rid of Kyle, so I guess I should utilise him! He has done all distances and is phenomenal at them all. For gym work I have a friendly open invitation from the guys at the Institute of Sport – they really looked after me as a swimmer and I still keep in touch with them. Now I just need to find the time to squeeze that in around a full time job and a 50 mile daily commute! Speaking of work, they are amazing too! So supportive and encouraging 🙂  Oo oo and I can’t forget Scott – we still annoy each other almost daily, but I do really appreciate his help.

So basically, in summary, I have felt unwanted and just lost in general recently. BUT that is natural after a tough season and having no serious races planned. The goals for now are to stay healthy over winter (although an ankle niggle is not helping this right now), get some running PBs, and then smash some triathlons in the summer. The distance of said triathlons are not decided yet, but as long as I still love the sport (and the sport loves me) then it will all be ok… *insert cliff hanger music here* 😉

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Update, including a presentation, a munro and a couple fun runs

Well a few things have happened recently (some good, some “interesting”) but I’ll go into detail on the more negative parts in a post all to itself (just to keep you in suspense!)…

Meanwhile, I’ve been up to a few things:

I forgot to tell you I was asked to give a presentation to some 6th year students on my achievements to date and on how to balance a full time job around a pretty demanding hobby. It was so much fun! I was scared I would come across so super uncool and no one would interact, but I forced them to with my “fake triathlon”:

  • Everyone in the auditorium stands up and sticks their arms out like scarecrows. When you can’t hold your arms at 90degrees anymore you sit down. This is to mimic the sore arms in the swim. Last 10 standing come to the front.
  • The 10 remaining do a “ski sit” against the stage ie pretend they are sitting on a non-existent chair, to mimic the screaming quads in a cycle. Last 5 “sitting” are through to the final.
  • Last 5 race from one end of the stage to the other and back. Winner takes all…!

Anyway, that seemed to work and all the kids engaged and asked plenty questions. Even those who clearly weren’t into sport were interested – when I told them I was sponsored by Aqua Sphere who have also partnered with the likes of Michael Phelps, I was asked who Phelps was 🙂

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(Thanks to Portlethen Academy for having me!)

I also was a pacemaker at our local beach parkrun for our running club takeover. This was a night-before job – I had seen that Callum was pacing 20 minutes so I thought I would ruin his glory and be the fastest pacemaker of 19minutes! Although the joke was on me because my time was recorded wrong and they had me down as 18.10 or something wayyy off, so I probably wont be asked to do it again 😦 I promise I was on for 19 until Mark attacked me to a sprint finish of around 18.50! He smashed it!

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I also took part in Metro’s 3km proms race, which is at noon on the 1st Friday of every month until Feb (I think?). It was SO BUSY on Friday with record numbers. I had swam that morning and a lot going on at work meant that 12pm came too soon and I was tired (and hungry!)! Anyway, I forced Callum to pace me to sub-10.30 (he was awesome!) but I struggled in the final couple hundred metres and finished in 10.34 (grrrrr). The wind was brutal so fingers crossed for a calm day and fresh legs for next time!

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(getting pipped at the finish 😦 …)

And last week Kyle and I took some annual leave! Unfortunately, the weather was horrendous AND we both came down with something, so it was a bit of a waste towards the end and we were stuck having pj days! BUT before the weather/illness hit, we had lots of fun with a sleepover with Amber (Kyle’s goddaughter) and Drew, and we bagged Lochnagar. We had the intention of cycling the 100 mile etape route with JK and Phil followed by beer and hot tub action  BUT there had to be a rain check (I am still forcing you to come out with us in the near future, m’kay??).

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(when we weren’t playing with the kiddos or running up munros, there was a LOT of Dexter and boardgames…)

And there you have it! After a few weeks of both choosing – and being forced – to take some time off, I have the training bug again and will build up the base mileage. I am feeling pretty lost at the moment with goal races, but once I have a nice plan in place for next season I will be even more excited to get out there and smash those sessions!


Do you take time off to recouperate from the previous season and get ready for the next?

Favourite thing to do in the off season?

Tips on how to relieve boredom when the weather sucks and you’re ill?